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View Poll Results: What is your view on mecha in anime?
I love giant robots! 28 44.44%
I am okay with mecha in anime 16 25.40%
I am indifferent and mecha has no impact on how I view a show 17 26.98%
I hate mecha and refuse to watch a show if it has giant robots in it 2 3.17%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2011-10-28, 08:34   Link #21
Obelisk ze Tormentor
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In my opinion, one of the core reasons of mecha anime being hated is the mecha-series targeted for kids that shape the general opinion that mecha anime is all about giant pieces of metal taking on each other. Some examples would be anime like Webdiver, Dai-Gunder, Transformers, NG Lamune, etc. Pay attention that in those animes, the stories’ only concern is how the MC fight the bad guys and getting power-ups so the mechas can be ‘upgraded’ to look nicer. That is an obvious and absolute turn-off even for some regular teenage anime fans.

One more core reason is that some (if not most) of the haters never really experience a good mecha series. People can easily hate what they don’t know. That’s why I tend to respect some friends of mine who detest Twilight after actually seeing the whole thing more than some people in internet forums who despise mecha-anime even though they barely watch a series.

Oh, I chose the second option, btw.
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Old 2011-10-28, 09:31   Link #22
mecharobot
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My view is that giant robots are ridiculously cool and mecha shows have a good variety in them. From the classic gattai robos saving the earth from aliens to hardcore social commentary filled works like Patlabor 2nd movie.

As for people who don't like the idea, well its not my job to talk them into it, but I wish people would avoid generalizations of shows they have no knowledge of. It is kind of like magic girls in a sense.
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Old 2011-10-28, 12:33   Link #23
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Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
In my opinion, one of the core reasons of mecha anime being hated is the mecha-series targeted for kids that shape the general opinion that mecha anime is all about giant pieces of metal taking on each other. Some examples would be anime like Webdiver, Dai-Gunder, Transformers, NG Lamune, etc. Pay attention that in those animes, the stories’ only concern is how the MC fight the bad guys and getting power-ups so the mechas can be ‘upgraded’ to look nicer. That is an obvious and absolute turn-off even for some regular teenage anime fans.
Funny, but Transformers is the only mecha series to date that I still love as much as I did back then and considering it used to be part of my childhood, that says a lot. Rather, it's mostly the 'people piloting giant robots' that turns me off and that is what I have come to associate the mecha genre with.

Quote:
One more core reason is that some (if not most) of the haters never really experience a good mecha series. People can easily hate what they don’t know. That’s why I tend to respect some friends of mine who detest Twilight after actually seeing the whole thing more than some people in internet forums who despise mecha-anime even though they barely watch a series.
This might apply to me, as I tend to be quite apprehensive when I learn that a show either features or contains mecha, but with what I have seen so far, I don't think I can ever truly appreciate this genre.

Oh and I choose option 4. Mecha and me do not mix.
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Old 2011-10-28, 13:01   Link #24
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@Lord of Fire
Just curious, have you seen an animated movie from Hollywood called The Iron Giant? It's pretty popular.

If the answer is yes, then how do you feel about it?
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Old 2011-10-28, 14:24   Link #25
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Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
@Lord of Fire
Just curious, have you seen an animated movie from Hollywood called The Iron Giant? It's pretty popular.

If the answer is yes, then how do you feel about it?
Judging by the synopsis I read at Wikipedia, I don't think I've seen it. Maybe I'll try it one day.
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Old 2011-10-28, 15:02   Link #26
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As pointed out earlier by Eater of all, mecha, like moe, is a theme and not a genre. It primarily affects the visual element of a show. It's a non starter but who doesn't like good characterisation and/or storytelling?
I'd like to break this down further, mecha and moe are 'themes' but of completely separate categories. The correct comparison should be Mecha and Mahou Shoujo, Hot Bloodedness and Moe.

In my first post, I said that the Mecha is an extension and medium of expression for the character, you can say the same for Mahou Shoujo. But Moe is not an extension of the character, it is the personality of the character itself, same for Hotbloodedness.

The term 'GAR' is originally an accidental distortion which over the years have been recognised in the west as simply a word to describe a badass character. And this word is not an accurate way to describe the type of badassness portrayed in anime and Japanese media. Yelling out attack names, giving epic speeches before finishing blows and exaggerated poses etc., is a type of badass unique to Japanese media.

And this type of badassness comes from the word 'Nekketsu', which means 'Hotbloodedness'. It is not a term that is properly expressed in English and is not found in western culture. Hotbloodedness is to Mecha as Moe is to Mahou Shoujo, they are personalities of the characters that are extended by their mediums.
--------------

Japanese culture is very spiritual and they believe in Ki, the essence of life that connects everything. Ki in a human body, is the mind, body and spirit, this Ki is also the emotional energy to power thoughts which comes out from the body as a force. And this is why emotions and willpower are always the driving forces in Mecha, Mahou Shoujo and the Shounen genre.

Like the link Decagon posted, in Japan, you extend your power into the weapon, unlike weapons in America, where it empowers the user.

--------------

Robots are also much more negatively presented in Western culture, compared to Japan. In the west its a robot apocalypse because of Terminator and Doctor Who, but in Japan, robots are the future because of Astroboy and Doraemon. The media is a very powerful force that drives cultures.
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Old 2011-10-28, 15:19   Link #27
fanty
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I voted for the third option, but actually, my opinion is more complicated than that.

I have recently rewatched Escaflowne, which I love to bits, and that's not only because of the story. The mecha themselves, especially Escaflowne itself, also contributed to my enjoyment of the show. I think the reasons for that are:
1. The steering system MADE SENSE! No joysticks in sight!
2. It was intertwined with the supernatural, making it easy to accept.

The point number two is also why I found it easy to accept mecha in Eureka 7 and TTGL, even though those did have joysticks. Mecha that work on pretty much magic aren't any different from other unrealistic things found in anime.

I also don't mind the mecha in series where they are so absolutely not the focus, that I just don't have any time to balk, which was the case, for me, with Code Geass and Full Metal Panic.

I also liked the mecha in Bokurano. It appeared pretty much out of nowhere (another dimension?), so the "it's magic!" thing applies, It also had a non-stupid and non-stereotypical design, which definitely helped.

Now, where do I find mecha hard to accept? Mostly in shows that take themselves way too seriously, are not explaining anything away with magic, and are putting a special focus on the mecha, either by having the camera linger on the mecha or commiting other such atrocities. That means that trying to watch stuff like Macross and Gundam (except for A Gundam, which didn't take itself seriously at all) makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Mecha are not realistic, and trying to pass them off as such just makes me lose all suspension of disbelief.

I remember years ago I was watching this really nice Macross OVA with totally cool aerial dogfights, and then, suddenly, in ep 2, a plane transformed into a mecha, and I almost fell off my chair. I knew it was a mecha series from the very start, but it was extremely jarring to see a show that was trying to be serious sending all its credibility down the drain by trying to pass mecha off as something approaching realistic.

And since I don't know how to end the post, lets just go with a video of Escaflowne.

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Old 2011-10-28, 16:01   Link #28
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I still love mecha. It's one of my main genres of anime that I watch. Though, I prefer the real robot side. And as of late, it's been limited to Gundam.

Like alot of people said here, it's not all about robots blowing eachother up. Sometimes they're just tools of the humans, and there's a underlying story as to why mecha are used. There are excellent stories invoked in mecha anime, and in different ways. There's the badass hotblooded pilots in supers saving the world from aliens and what have you, and in reals, you usually have a underlying military/war story with more realistic mecha, still carrying some hotblooded pilots here and there. Sometimes there's something completely original in a mecha anime.

It kind of annoys me when people hate mecha when they think it's simply robots fighting. Good mecha anime is much more than that. Needless to say, I still like the genre and I have high hopes for it in the future.
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Old 2011-10-28, 18:19   Link #29
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I like the robots and their transformations but that's mostly transformers than Mecha. I uses to have several robots as child which I really liked
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Old 2011-10-29, 11:54   Link #30
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When I first became an anime fan in the mid-'90s I had a negative impression of mecha anime, derived from fans who spent their time talking about how awesome the robots were and the finer points of their technical specifications. Not stuff that turned me on. There's some interest in learning about real machines, but the ins and outs of a fantasy? Knowing what a mecha can do is one thing but how it does it is irrelevant unless a plot point hangs on it.

Back in those days it was hard to get hold of the mecha classics unless you were motivated. Actually it was hard to get hold of much anime in the UK unless you imported, or traded VHS fan-subs. On the other hand, mecha was a big part of the history of this thing, anime, that I loved so I felt I ought to give it a chance. The first Patlabor film and Macross Plus were available in shops so I bought copies. It seemed there was more to mecha anime than nerdy obsessions.

The new century brought things like the World Wide Web as we know it; bittorrent; affordable broadband and much greater ease and reliability when importing goods from the USA and Japan. Also a wider variety of anime, including television series, began to become available domestically. More recently, streaming services like Crunchyroll have added another source. I've now seen a fair number of mecha series; Turn-A Gundam; Ideon; the three compilation films from the original Gundam; Brain Powerd; Martian Successor Nadesico; Macross 7; Dai-Guard; Macross Zero; Go Nagai re-makes (need to see the originals) and several others I haven't finished. Loved some, loathed some, the rest in between.

These days the presence or absence of mecha does not affect my interest in a new series. But then what's broadly called genre rarely does. I've enjoyed a fair number of sports and mahou shoujo shows in the past but I'm not inclined to watch every new show that comes under one of those categories.

"Mecha - I don't go looking for it but I don't avoid it".

(It occurs to me that those fans who really hate mecha anime are not going to bother visiting this thread so the poll results are going to be somewhat skewed. It's been interesting reading anyway.)

Last edited by ujiuji; 2011-10-29 at 18:18. Reason: Afterthoughts on poll validity.
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Old 2011-10-29, 12:10   Link #31
siegn
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I love real robot mecha, it shows how they would be a tool for war and how we would advance them for this use.

As where super robot mecha is too hot blooded for me most of the time.
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Old 2011-10-29, 14:35   Link #32
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Originally Posted by Endless Soul View Post
Macross is and always be my first anime love.


Though I am certain that Mecha doesn't 'make' an Anime


Reading through this thread I find it funny that some cannot accept techobabble, but discussing psychobabble in anime isn't any different
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Old 2011-10-29, 15:22   Link #33
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Originally Posted by NightbatŪ View Post
Reading through this thread I find it funny that some cannot accept techobabble, but discussing psychobabble in anime isn't any different
Technobabble differs from other kinds of nonsense in that technology actually exists. It's a real thing, and so when it starts getting severely bent out of shape and all logic is butchered, many viewers lose their suspension of disbelief.

Stuff like psychic powers and magic and stuff along those lines doesn't actually exist, and so, the writers can come up with anything they want, most viewers won't have any trouble accepting it. If psychic powers existed, then viewers would be much less accepting of stories that tamper with them.
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Old 2011-10-29, 15:40   Link #34
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I think that enjoying the sight of two large mechas/robots in explosive combat is just as legitimate as enjoying the sight of a well-choreographed swordfight or any other sort of action/fight scene.

So I like mecha anime more or less as much as I do any other sort of action-oriented anime show. To a certain extent, I like Gurren Lagann for much the same reason that I do s-CRY-ed or Ga-Rei Zero or even Nanoha A's: Great action scenes involving compelling charismatic characters.

That being said, action scenes are typically like the condiment that you put on your meal; the ketchup or mustard on your hamburger, to give it some added zing and taste.

It's the quality of the meat itself, as well as the buns, that will play the largest factor in determining how satisfying the hamburger is. Likewise, it's the quality of the characters and story that will play the largest factor in determining how good a mecha anime is.

I think it's perfectly fine to like mecha as a genre (i.e. enjoying Gundam, Gurren Lagann, Macross, and other shows of that type) as well as to like it as an element (enjoying it when the girls of Magic Knight Rayearth basically start flying magical Gundams, for example).


However, I think what hinders mecha as a genre/element in the internet age, is that its novelty appeal has worn off. There was a time when mecha was fresh, new, exciting, and truly captured the imagination of futurists and technologists of all ages (but especially young bright kids and teenagers, of course). There was just something indescribably cool about a giant, flashy robot that you could personally pilot, and would act as an extension of your own will (to borrow from C.A.'s excellent point). It mixed the hot-blooded testosterone-fueled fun of being a race car driver or a fighter jet pilot with the technological awe and wonder of sci-fi.

Then, in time, we saw Gundam do such a superb job in incorporating giant mechas (or "mobile suits") into conventional futuristic warfare. The mechas became superb vehicles to help explore sociopolitical issues, as well as speculate as to what the future could be like.

But over time, the novelty did begin to wear off. Advances in animation technology managed to keep things a bit dynamic as newer mechas became increasingly elaborate and impressive looking in comparison to most older ones, but things have now just about plateaued here.

Putting the genie back in the bottle, and recapturing the magic that the early mecha anime had can be tricky, perhaps even impossible.

So how does mecha promote itself going forward?


The mecha is an extension of the pilot, just as a sword is an extension of s/he who wields it. Tight associations need to be made between each notable individual mecha and its pilot. Colorful but practical and easy-to-remember names should be given to the mecha.

Char Aznable is an anime character that has transcended time to a degree, one of a precious few pre-NGE anime characters to be commonly known among most modern anime fans (I get the impression, anyway). Char's charismatic personality is part of the reason why, to be sure, but I think it also helped that him and his Red Comet were so tightly associated with each other. When you saw the Red Comet, you saw Char. When you saw Char in his Zeon uniform or civilian clothes, you instantly became excited at the prospect of him being in the Red Comet.

In future mecha anime shows, allow the mecha and the (wo)man to become associated with one another, infusing the mecha with the character's personality, and making the character seem empowered and emboldened by his personal mecha.


Sorry if I came off as rambling here, but those are just some observations about a genre that, while not my favorite, is one that I find I tend to miss if we go too long without a Code Geass, or a Gurren Lagann, in the anime world.
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Old 2011-10-29, 16:07   Link #35
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Maybe you're just old Triple R. When I was five, I loved Voltron (which is a typical large robots fighting robots with hardly a plot). You would have to offer some hefty incentives to get me to sit through a full episode today.

I'm sure if I sat some of my young, young relatives (assuming their hyper-protective parents didn't find out) down in front of something seemingly stupid like Super Robot Wars, they'd eat it up.

I don't think we necessarily need every piece of media to cater to our own tastes. I think it's far more healthy to enjoy the things that are, and accept we simply aren't the target audience for the things that aren't, and that those things don't need to change for our benefit.
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Old 2011-10-29, 17:12   Link #36
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Maybe you're just old Triple R. When I was five, I loved Voltron (which is a typical large robots fighting robots with hardly a plot). You would have to offer some hefty incentives to get me to sit through a full episode today.

I'm sure if I sat some of my young, young relatives (assuming their hyper-protective parents didn't find out) down in front of something seemingly stupid like Super Robot Wars, they'd eat it up.

I don't think we necessarily need every piece of media to cater to our own tastes. I think it's far more healthy to enjoy the things that are, and accept we simply aren't the target audience for the things that aren't, and that those things don't need to change for our benefit.
Oh, I agree.

That's why I'm perfectly fine with what Gundam Age is trying to do.

Maybe large robots are inherently more interesting to kids and young teens than they are to adults.
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Old 2011-10-29, 17:47   Link #37
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Mecha anime can be nice if large number of small non-mecha fighting vehicles play significant role in the conflict. Vive le Tank!!!
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Old 2011-10-30, 01:06   Link #38
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Mecha anime can be nice if large number of small non-mecha fighting vehicles play significant role in the conflict. Vive le Tank!!!
MS Igloo 2 FTW!!!
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Old 2011-10-30, 02:04   Link #39
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Macross is what got me into anime, so naturally I would love giant robots (and by extension, in the eternal war of Real Robots vs Super Robots, I'm in the Real Robot side).

That said, what really interests me is not mecha itself, but that at least an element of romance is usually associated with mecha nowdays, unlike other mainstream action anime where it's usually non-existent. Yes, it's a view that's another by-product of Macross being my first anime, but seems to hold up rather well just by skimming through mecha shows of the past 5 years, so I ain't complaining. XD

(And that's not going into me thinking mecha anime has a higher proportion of childhood friend LIs than other shows, but that's just my gut feeling talking, since I haven't tabulated any sort of numbers yet. )
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Old 2011-10-30, 05:06   Link #40
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In my opinion, mechas / robots are like food ingredients on most science-fiction series (You can define it as spaghetti, paella, ramen, or any food you like ). No matter it's Real Robot or Super Robot.

In case the recipe (plot, cast, execution....) is good, it will be a delicious dish (great series that receives positive reputation and worth to re-watch multiple times.)

If the 'recipe' is not good, the 'dish' will still gross, eventhough how good the 'ingredients' (mechas) are. Because the 'recipe' didn't follow the right way to make the 'food' delicious. (Bad voicing, trainwreck ending, plot-holes, cliches...)

At the end, I pick the 2nd option on the poll. (I am okay with mecha in anime)
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